Paper-based HR: An Inconvenient Truth

The world has changed and the need for a coordinated and technology-driven HR system is becoming a necessity to stay relevant and competitive in this new economic environment.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing has shifted the workforce to online channels, which has been the catalyst for companies to accelerate their investment and adoption in digital initiatives.

HR has to manage and control a vast amount of information that is often highly confidential and has to do so frequently on a day-to-day basis. If you are still relying on traditional paper-based method to handle your documents, it’s crucial to re-evaluate the efficiency and costs of an outdated system and recognize technology’s strategic importance as a critical component of the business.

How paper-based processes affect the bottom line

In today’s world where interactions are increasingly digital by nature, paper-based information that was once an HR asset has regressed into an HR liability, and here we explain why:


A manual HR management system is a gaping source of cost inefficiencies. Purchasing paper, using printers and fax machines, maintaining, and locating files across several filing systems, filing rooms, and multiple office locations result in staggering supply, energy, and productivity expenses that accumulate year-on-year.
Statistics show that companies spend an estimated $25,000 to fill one filing cabinet, another $2,100 a year to maintain one cabinet, and employees spend up to 30% of their time at work managing document-based information.

Lower Efficiency and Productivity

On average, an HR person spends 4 weeks a year looking for documents that don’t exist because they were misfiled or lost, and then spends additional hours recreating these documents.

Companies pay a premium for qualified professionals who are wasting their talent and time on unnecessary tasks instead of using their expertise to enhance business operations and better manage the workforce.

A paper-based system slows down processes, requires more administrative resources and has a higher risk of inefficiency and human error.

Weakened Security

There are several aspects around paper-based documents that increase security risks, which could severely harm companies.

Having copies of records filed in another room is not a protective measure; in fact, it is estimated that more than 60% of businesses would fail within a month if they had a catastrophic loss of paper-based information due to fire, flood, or any major natural disaster.

Another aspect is having paper-based information shuffled around (and out of) an office. Paper enhances risk of theft and loss as it is a format that can be easily destroyed or shared, and it is impossible to have traceability and visibility of every paper record in a business.

Increased Non-Compliance Risks

Compliance is a challenging enough task to control, which is intensified with paper-based management methods.

Manually keeping track of all legislative and regulatory changes, privacy, and data laws, and ensuring auditability while maintaining accurate employee records poses a significant threat to organizations who depend on paper-based records.

The result of non-compliance is hefty financial penalties, litigation, and reputational damage.

Time to go digital?

The benefits of moving away from paper-based management in a digitally connected world are invaluable.

With a modern digital Document Management System you get real-time information accessibility and more control that is just not possible with the traditional approach.

Leverage technology to transform your HR processes into an evolving and strategic practice that becomes rooted in your organization’s culture, so you can stay ahead of inevitable change.






Find out how a Document Management System can simplify your everyday office processes.